Sources of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde in North America determined from high-resolution atmospheric data S. M. Miller1, D. M. Matross2, A. E. Andrews3, D. B. Millet4, M. Longo1, E. W. Gottlieb1, A. I. Hirsch3, C. Gerbig5, J. C. Lin6, B. C. Daube1, R. C. Hudman1, P. L. S. Dias7, V. Y. Chow1, and S. C. Wofsy1 1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA 2Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA 3NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, Boulder, CO, USA 4Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA 5Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany 6Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada 7National Laboratory of Scientific Computing, Petropolis, Brazil
Abstract. We analyze the North American budget for carbon monoxide using data for CO and
formaldehyde concentrations from tall towers and aircraft in a model-data
assimilation framework. The Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport
model for CO (STILT-CO) determines local to regional-scale CO contributions
associated with production from fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, and
oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using an ensemble of Lagrangian
particles driven by high resolution assimilated meteorology. In many cases,
the model demonstrates high fidelity simulations of hourly surface data from tall
towers and point measurements from aircraft, with somewhat less satisfactory performance
in coastal regions and when CO from large biomass fires in Alaska and the Yukon
Territory influence the continental US.
Inversions of STILT-CO simulations for CO and formaldehyde show that current
inventories of CO emissions from fossil fuel combustion are significantly too
high, by almost a factor of three in summer and a factor two in early spring,
consistent with recent analyses of data from the INTEX-A aircraft program.
Formaldehyde data help to show that sources of CO from oxidation of CH4
and other VOCs represent the dominant sources of CO over North America in summer.
Citation: Miller, S. M., Matross, D. M., Andrews, A. E., Millet, D. B., Longo, M., Gottlieb, E. W., Hirsch, A. I., Gerbig, C., Lin, J. C., Daube, B. C., Hudman, R. C., Dias, P. L. S., Chow, V. Y., and Wofsy, S. C.: Sources of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde in North America determined from high-resolution atmospheric data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 7673-7696, doi:10.5194/acp-8-7673-2008, 2008.